30th July 2015
In our contemporary world it is very rare that we are asked to talk about what lies at the heart of our actions. Instead we hide behind statistics, data, policy statements etc, few of which actually touch other people’s hearts and minds.
To days debates between today’s religions, ideologies, nations and classes will in all likelihood disappear along with Homo Sapiens so it is naive to imagine that we simply hit the brakes on climate change and all will be honky dory.
We are more powerful than ever before, but have very little idea what to do with all that power. We seem to be more irresponsible than ever. We are accountable to no one, and consequently wreaking havoc on or fellow animals and on the surrounding ecosystem, seeking little more than our own comfort and amusement, yet never finding satisfaction.
There is nothing more dangerous than a dissatisfied and irresponsible gods who don’t know what they want?
The real question is not what do we want to be come? but ‘what do we want to want’.
We all know that we must move away from our excessive and selfish lifestyle.
So as you prepare to come to Paris I would like to ask you to think about your personal role, and answer a simple, but profound, question:
Why do I care?
In making climate change and the protection of our beautiful planet a personal issue of your own beliefs and values you will come to the Cop primarily as a conscious human being not just a representative of a Government or agency.
Since time memorial we have all been led to believe that our current lifestyle is the most satisfying, but as you know in reality it is based on egoistic and unjust exploitation of resources and of human capital. It has led to a lifestyle based on selflessness and if left unchecked it will take us to an irreversible process of self-destruction.
We all know that opportunity for an agreement will be beset by challenges.
The question at the heart of any forthcoming Agreement surely most be > Who is going to pay for it.
It will not be the present exclusively profit-focused, job-oriented, planet threatening, income-wealth, gap-widening civilization.
It will not be the free-market capitalism even thought private investors stand to lose $4.2tn (£2.7tn) on the value of their holdings from the impact of climate change by 2100 even if global warming is held at plus 2C, a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has warned.
It will not be cash strapped world Governments.
It will not be a single global tax or regulatory scheme whether they live in a capitalist or communist society.
It will not be Industry reverting the trend of economic development and investment by coupled its insensible greed for profit with carbon emissions.
There is little point in agreeing a new climate change targets if there is no compassionate response to climate change requires for us to help the world’s poorest gain access to sustainable energy solutions so that they can improve their lives while avoiding the dirty energy path that developed countries followed.
There is little point in making the Agreement an Internationally legally binding treaty when there is no way of enforcing its terms or applying penalties for breach thereof.
There is little point in countries submitting their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions. The very reference to Intended expresses the get out clause.
By far the biggest obstacle to any agreement will be how countries will finance the move to a low-carbon global economy.
Even if one of these above problems were politically feasible, air is vital to a healthy economy. Which it isn’t. It is the people who want to breathe clean air. Climate pollutants, on the other hand, are everywhere. They are a waste product of nearly every aspect of modern life, and they are not limited to carbon; methane, soot and nitrous oxide all contribute to rising temperatures.
The present generation of young people is the forerunner of the generation of the most powerful generation in human history because of the enormous technology in their hands. We have to get them engaged in creating the world they wish to live in, and pass on to the next generation.
The sooner the socially committed players take charge of technology, the faster the world Social business is a new variety of business which delinks itself from any desire to make personal profit, where economic prosperity isn’t defined by constant reckless growth. We need to develop social systems that encourage people to put aside short-term personal gain in favor of long-term societal and environmental interests.
It is not just yours it is our collective moral responsibility to act. We must act because we care. With that comes a different way of thinking about both mitigating and adapting to climate change, from the roads to the treetops.
We seemingly need to get as close to demise as possible to be able to see things clearly. We’re already running up to and beyond the biophysical boundaries that enable us to exist. Given the pace of change, we can no longer exclude the possibility of reaching critical tipping points that could abruptly and irreversibly change living conditions.
It is only a mobilization of conscience on a global scale that will enable humanity to meet this great challenge confronting us.
We are already seeing promising signs such as the joint announcement by the US and China in Beijing in November 2014 and the decision of the European Council a few weeks before. Together these cover around 50% of world emissions.
Realistically we all know that if either China or the USA were to discover new reserve of Oil, Gas, or Coal they would not leave it in the ground.
So where are we?
The first and only scientific fact to know about climate change is that carbon is (almost) forever.
The Paris agreement for what its worth will come into effect in 2020. To Late.
At this meeting, more than 190 States will discuss a possible new global agreement you have to reach a universal agreement to limit the global warming to 2 degrees Celsius by 2100. To Late.
Countries have to agreed that there will be no back-tracking in these national climate plans, meaning that the level of ambition to reduce emissions will increase over time. Not Possible. Look at the United Nations a gossip shop with no money controlled by Veto.
Countries have been invited to submit their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions to the new climate agreement to be concluded in December, in Paris. This approach represents a concession to political and diplomatic realities, as well as to the limits of international agreements in influencing countries’ behavior in an area so vital to their interests.
The climate change issue is driven more by national than by international politics, so the agreement needs to allow states to determine the content of their own commitments.
So far 21 out of the 194 attending have submitted their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions. Bravo.
You might well ask at this point what is the solution.
There is only one solution and that is the creation of a World Aid Commission of 0.05% (for sake of argument) On all Stock Exchange Transactions with a higher commission on a High Frequency Trades, on all Foreign Exchange Transactions over $20,000, on all Sovereignty Wealth Funds Acquisition., on all Drilling Wells.
This is the only viable solution to make Profit and Greed pay.
This would create a perpetual World Aid Fund with unlimited funds to tackle Climate Change, Inequality of Opportunity, Education and Disaster Aid.
It will create incentives and spread the funding through out the world by harnessing the very problem that has created the position we now find ourselves in.
Why will it work?
Because ( if firm action is not taken at the forthcoming climate change talks in Paris and the Earth’s temperature warms by a further 5C) investors are facing losses of almost $7tn at today’s prices.
Because democratizing our energy supply can be achieved by this fund in making non repayable grants available to the worlds citizens to install solar power. There’s something special about solar. Not just because it’s genius technology but because, it puts the power to act in millions of hands.
The energy and climate debate is very political and bogged-down by big vested interests.
Because it would solve Climate change which does not have the time or money to be reverted. Ever four days we add a million more people to the planet scuttling our rosy dreams of sustainability.
The definition of success in Paris has been widely misunderstood, and as a result there is a risk that success may be viewed as failure.
Before I wish every success here is a small practical step. Let the summit ask all major TV Media Channels weather forecasts carry a section on the effects of climate change.
The citizens of the world will be watching you.
The Founder and writer of the Beady Eye.
PS. There is no need for you to respond to this open letter I along with millions that are currently signing online petitions in support of the Earth which has no voice other than climate Change trust you.